Music Theory Classes for Adults: General Information

Understand the big-picture of music theory: fill in the gaps in your musical knowledge

Musicians from the Cantigas de Santa Maria

These intensive music courses will take you through the grades of AMEB Musicianship, an internationally-recognised music theory syllabus. Added course material shows you how the theory applies to both classical and contemporary music. Learn the secrets of music, and how to use them. You may take the exams through AMEB after each grade if you wish. The courses provide a background to the understanding of music for adults who are learning to sing or play a musical instrument, and lay foundations for courses in higher grades. An excellent opportunity to cement new skills or refresh old ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I learn?

Each grade covers the material in the AMEB syllabus, with additional material of broader interest and relevance. Grades 1 and 2 can be attended separately, or in one combined 8-week course, which moves through the material more slowly. Participants must have completed Susan's courses of Grades 1 and 2 before attending higher grade courses.

What course materials are included?

Your course fee covers course all course notes and materials, including tea and coffee. The exam fee payable to AMEB is not included (exams are optional).

Where are the courses held? How do I get there?

Classes are usually held at Susan's studio in Jarrett St Leichhardt. Buses on Parramatta Rd and Norton St Leichhardt are a 5 minute walk, Taverners Hill light rail is an 11 minute walk, and Petersham station is a 12 minute walk. There is 2 hour parking in Jarrett St, or unmetered parking nearby in Elswick St and Albert St.

How big are the classes?

Classes are small, to allow more attention to individual participants, and to allow plenty of time for questions. Maximum class size is 5 people for theory classes, and 8 people for workshops.

Are there any prerequisites?

Participants must attend each grade with Susan Deas before proceeding to the next. Each grade includes material supplementary to the AMEB syllabus which is further developed in following grades. Completion of exams is not necessary to progress.

Is there homework to do each week?

Yes! Each week there are questions and exercises which well help you find out if you have understood the material covered, and help you work out questions to ask the following week. This is essential to progressing through the course, as each week the material builds on what has been learned so far. Additionally, each week there are revision questions to help you retain what you have learned, and to deepen your understanding.

Do I have to do exams?

No, exams are optional. Musicianship is a music theory syllabus from the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), in which graded exams lead to internationally-recognised qualifications. Each of these courses covers the material for each grade, and with adequate revision and practice, participants should be ready to sit the exam through AMEB after each course.

Can I do exams if I wish?

Yes. Students over 18 years of age can enrol themselves for AMEB exams without a teacher. Grades 1 to 6 are now available online at any time. More information about AMEB online exams is available from the AMEB online exams website. Details can be found at the AMEB NSW website. There are no prerequisites for AMEB Musicianship exams up to Grade 6.

How high do the courses go?

Higher grades up to Grade 6 are now available now with Susan Deas. Classes depend on minimum enrolment numbers, or individual lessons can begin anytime. Join the mailing list to stay informed of future classes, or to enquire about individual lessons.

Should I do Grade 1 or Grades 1-2?

You can cover the material of grades 1 and 2 over two separate 2.5 day courses, or in one 8-week course. The two options cover the same material, but the 8-week version does it at a more steady pace, with more time for revision along the way. The weekend versions of each grade are a little more intensive. There's always room for plenty of questions in both.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants must have completed all lower grades with Susan Deas before enrolling in any higher grades. Completion of exams is not necessary to progress.
  2. If a course is cancelled, you will be notified at least 5 days of the start of the course, and any fee paid will be refunded in full.
  3. Requests for refunds made at least 21 days before the start of the course will be considered at the discretion of Susan Deas, less a cancellation fee of $30 if approved. No refunds will be given for cancellations after this date.
  4. No refunds will be issued for missed classes.

About Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching piano for over twenty years, and her students learn both classical and contemporary styles, including playing by ear and improvisation. Susan also gives professional development workshops and lessons to private music teachers. She performs professionally as a pianist and organist, and lectures in music theory and music appreciation for Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education. Susan’s training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan is an Accredited Member of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.

More about Susan’s qualifications

Susan’s other music courses

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